Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bill Clinton Interview, Asian-Americans Dealing With Stereotypes, And The Bible As Literature (Wednesday's Second Hour)

Hi guys. I know, I'm all behind now. It's been a crazy week. We're kicking things off with the Bill Clinton interview and they begin by talking about environment related matters and his public/private initiative to rehab office buildings. Anderson asks what kind of grade he would give the current adminstration on their environmental policies. Clinton says it would have to be a bad grade since they basically reversed everything he did in that area. Oh, but they made it sound good, didn't they? I mean, what does it matter if the clear skies initiative actually allows more pollution and the healthy forests initiative involves killing trees when they have such envirofriendly names? It's double-plus good! Anyway, Clinton does, however, give Bush credit for putting money into wind and solar energy. But where's the leadership? Let's see solar panels on the White House. Clinton also notes that Bush is opposed to capping carbon emissions because he doesn't want to reorganize the market.

Anderson brings up the time when Bush said we were addicted to oil. Everyone was all amazed and everything...and then nothing happened. Clinton says that he believes Texas is now the number one producer of wind energy due to steps Bush took as governor, but he's opposed to Kyoto. They then go into some political talk that was covered last hour. Anderson notes that he met Hillary for the first time a couple months ago and found her very different in person than on television and he wonders if America knows the real her. Clinton says no, but I want to go back to Anderson for a second. Dude, you're a reporter. Details, please. How is she different? That's kind of something we the people might like to know. Clinton then talks a bit about how liked Hillary is in New York because they know her there. Anderson asks if he was surprised by the strength of Obama. Clinton says no and calls him "gifted," "attractive," "compelling," and "charismatic." However, he stays away from pulling a Biden and calling him "articulate" and "clean." From there they hit on Iraq and some of what was covered last hour. Clinton says we're stretched too thin now and notes, "we have active Navy personnel doing target practice on their drills because we don't have enough ground forces left in the Marine corps and the Army, after our commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq." Oh...crap.

Next up we have a repeat of the Arwa Damon piece and then a piece from Dan Simon on Phil Spector. And you know, I really could care less about Phil Spector, so I'm skipping this and the taped discussion with Court TV's Lisa Bloom that follows. When they cut back to live Anderson he rolls his eyes and says, "Wow, isn't Hollywood glamorous? " That pretty much sums it up. Transitioning now to CNN's "Uncovering America" series and right now we're focusing on Asian-Pacific Americans. First up, Betty Nguyen gives us a piece that tackles Asian stereotypes. Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California, is one of the best high schools in the country and it is also primarily Asian. This wasn't always the case. Whites used to be the majority, but as the Asian population of the school rose, so did the GPA's and test scores. So are Asians just smarter than others? Of course not. There is a distinction between intelligence and academic success, the latter which is extremely important in many Asian families. However, the model minority myth makes all distinctions moot even though there is a big difference between a college-educated immigrant and a refugee.

Moving on to an Anderson piece that focuses on Jian Lee, a top student that was rejected by Princeton. He claims it was discrimination because as an Asian-American he was held to a higher standard. But is that what happened? Well, maybe. Asian Americans make up 30% of top high school seniors, but only 15% of enrollment at top colleges. Another clue is that when California banned all race-based decision making in 1996, "Asian- Americans enrolled at Berkeley soared from just over 35 percent of the student body in 1997 to nearly 43 percent today. " Hmm. For more discussion we're joined by CNN special contributor and Survivor champ (Wha?) Yul Kwon. Anderson asks what kind of pressure is put on Asian-Americans in regards to traditional professions. Yul tells us his dad was disppointed he went to school to be an attorney. Seriously? Anderson wonders how his parents defined success and Yul admits monetarily, but social status can be key too.

Yul also tells us that becoming a politician or actor would really be the worst. In fact, when he told his parents he was going on a reality show his dad almost had a heart attack. I'll bet. But he reminded them they live in a different world now and after seeing him on the show they were okay. Yul also notes that "in this country, I mean, it's important to study hard and to have academics, but how far you get in life often depends on the connections that you have and the relationships you have with people." Thank you!!! Though perhaps unseemly, this needs to be taught in schools too. We're always hearing people say you have to work hard and you'll get ahead and while people should definitely work hard, part of that statement is crap. Who you are, who you know, and just plain dumb luck often have as much to do with it as anything. Maybe it was different before, but that's not the world we live in now. Hell, the job I have right now I got because I knew someone. People need to stop pretending. After college there was only one job I applied for that had any interest in my GPA (which was pretty good BTW). So anyway, let's just say the whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps thing really irks me.

The final piece tonight is from David Mattingly about a recent decision to allow the King James Bible to be taught as literature in Odessa, Texas. I guess I still have a little naivity in me because at first I thought this didn't sound so bad. After all, I'm all for comparative religion classes, so this didn't sound that much different on the surface. But, oh, it is. For one thing, it comes with study materials that manipulate facts and all these conservative groups apparently see this as an opportunity to teach that America is Christian. In the piece a guy from Wallbuilders is quoted and that does it for me. I'm familiar with those people. They like to make up and distort quotes in order to make it look like all the founding fathers were Christians and intended this to be a strictly Christian nation, which is of course untrue. Now parents of some students are suing , claiming the course is unconstitutional. I guess we'll see what happens.

In the headlines we learned that Yolanda King has died. So Jerry Falwell gets an hour and a half and Yolanda King gets a headline. Okay then. Actually I didn't need a piece on her or anything, but I'm just saying it seems strange. Also, look for another public figure to die soon. Morbid, but deaths seem to come in threes. While Erica and Anderson banter he starts doing this voice he sometimes does and Erica joins in. Then he wonders who they're even doing. Pssst. You're doing Regis Philbin! I only mention this at all because before he even asked the question I said, "Okay Reege, that's enough." Heh. However, Anderson doesn't agree with me. He thinks he's doing Larry King. "Lou Dobbs will be tomorrow night," says Erica. Ooh, make sure to get your outrage on about our broken borders! And...that'll do it.


Anonymous dannie said...

Eliza, I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it "strange" that they only mentionned Yolanda King's death in passing, while they pretty much devoted an entire show to Jerry Falwell... I would have liked to know more about her, and I was very disappointed by the fact that her passing was squeezed in between random newsbites. Surely she deserved better.

9:49 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@dannie-It's not even that I wanted to hear about Yolanda King; I'm just wondering what goes into determining coverage like that. Strange.

4:32 AM  

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